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Friday, February 28, 2014

U.S. Rep. Glenn ’GT’ Thompson Sponsors LOCAL Act, H.R. 4100

U.S. Rep. Glenn ’GT’ Thompson Sponsors LOCAL Act, H.R. 4100
Bill will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore joint management
programs with local non-profit groups  

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, PA-5, today joined fellow Members of Congress in the House as an original cosponsor to H.R. 4100, the Local Organization Cooperative Agreement and Facility Maintenance, or LOCAL Act.  The legislation would permit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to restore Cooperative Joint Management Arrangements with local non-profit organizations to construct, operate, and maintain recreational facilities at USACE lakes and reservoirs.

Under Cooperative Joint Management Arrangements, non-profit associations had been able to collect and retain user fees generated from the public’s use of USACE-constructed recreation facilities. The non-profit organizations, such as the Friends of Raystown Lake, had then reinvested the user fees to perform operations and maintenance of recreational facilities.

After an internal administrative ruling by the USACE, suggesting that all user fees must be deposited into the Land and Water Conversation Fund at the U.S. Treasury, USACE Baltimore District was forced to terminate the Cooperative Joint Management Agreement with the Friends of Raystown Lake on September 11, 2013.

“The Friends of Raystown Lake should be commended for their volunteerism, not penalized by Washington’s bureaucracy,” stated Rep. Thompson. “I’m confident, through my meetings with the Army Corps. at Raystown, they will do everything possible to ensure that these recreational opportunities remain vibrant.”

“The passage of the LOCAL Act will ensure the partnership with the Friends of Raystown Lake can restart and they can continue to manage operations and maintenance of Raystown Lake at Seven Points and Susquehannock Recreation Areas in the 2014 season,” Rep. Thompson added.  

"In the nearly two years that the Friends of Raystown Lake operated the public campgrounds at Raystown Lake, they were able to better serve the camping public through increased staffing, maintenance and cleaning schedules than the Corps was able to provide with its limited appropriation.  In addition the Friends were able to make investments in capital improvements to the public campgrounds totaling $157,600.  The LOCAL Act would allow these improvements to continue,” stated Matthew Price, Executive Director of the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.

Prior to the ruling the Army Corps of Engineers had Cooperative Joint Management Arrangements with non-profit organizations at 34 facilities nationwide.

Click here to view Thompson discuss H.R. 4100 earlier today from the House floor. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So this was a problem at least 3yrs ago and you're having workshops now.